Dominion Diamond Acquires Ekati Diamond Mine

BHP Billiton sold the EKATI Diamond Mine in the Northwest Territories, and its related marketing business in Antwerp, to Dominion Diamond Corporation (formerly Harry Winston Diamond Corporation) for aggregate cash consideration of US$500 million. EKATI is located 310 kilometres northeast of Yellowknife and 200 kilometres south of the Arctic Circle.

It was Canada's first diamond mine. BHP Billiton's interest in EKATI consisted of an 80 per cent interest in the Core Zone joint venture, comprising existing operations and a 58.8 per cent interest in the Buffer Zone joint venture. The Buffer Zone joint venture is focused on exploration opportunities.

BHP Billiton's legal transaction team was led internally by Nancy Deshaw and Sam Bagot, with assistance from Christopher Edwards and Jennifer Bell, and BHP Billiton was represented by Davies Ward Phillips & Vineberg LLP with a team that included Bill Ainley, Melanie Shishler, Joshua Kuretzky and Cynthia Hill (M&A); Sarah Powell (environmental) and Natasha vandenHoven (pensions & employment).

Dominion Diamond was led by Lyle Hepburn, and represented by a Borden Ladner Gervais LLP team of Mark Wheeler, Paul Mingay, Andrew Powers and Bekhzod Abdurazzakov (M&A); Adam Chamberlain (environmental); Steve Suarez (tax) and Andrew Harrison (pensions).